SI Review: September 2013

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Center Stage: Nurturing the business

What sets apart the fastest-growing staffing firm in the US

Intellect Resources ranks No. 1 on this year’s list of fastest-growing U.S. staffing firms produced by Staffing Industry Analysts. Intellect Resources posted compound annual revenue growth of 125.5 percent from 2008 through 2012. The Greensboro, N.C.-based firm was formed in 1999 and specializes in healthcare information technology. We interviewed President and CEO Tiffany Crenshaw about the firm’s philosophy and what’s fueling its growth.

Q: What differentiates Intellect Resources from other staffing firms?

A: We found a niche in healthcare IT and we understand that niche very well. As a result, we understand major IT initiatives inside hospitals. Intellect Resources works with hospitals when they’re beginning an IT project and we help them with their resource needs. Sometimes it includes staffing, sometimes it includes direct hire, sometimes it includes sending in very specialized consultants; it’s all dependent on what a client needs to succeed.

You mentioned there are other unique aspects as well?

My consultants are very diverse, but we have a very heavy female influence in our corporate office — 28 out of 30 internal employees are female. I think that we have brought a sense of nurture into our day-to-day business. We put a lot of energy in nurturing our employees, consultants and clients. I think that is a business model you don’t see frequently and I think it truly contributes to the success of the company.

I would also add that we’ve never been a bottom-line focused company. My business philosophy has always been if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients. And if your client is happy, the bottom line will be happy. It’s a philosophy that works.

You also mentioned Intellect Resources’ “Big Break” program for healthcare IT trainers.

We’ve got a patent-pending process called “Big Break.” It’s an American Idol-style audition, where potential candidates are routed through multiple screening processes before they get to the big audition day. Then the audition is a grueling selection process where in a single day, the client and Intellect Resources select the best of the best to become healthcare IT trainers. Once trained, those healthcare IT trainers go out on assignment to train hospital personnel on how to use electronic health records or other technology products.

What’s behind the company’s quick growth?

There are several things. First is the four-product lineup. We do not have competition with a similar offering. I think the clients really see that value of having one partner who truly understands their business. We are that “one partner.” Additionally, the current administration has created mandates that every hospital, healthcare provider in the country install an electronic health record technology and prove they are meaningfully using it. These initiatives have created a boom in our industry. We have a long-standing reputation in this space and clients are calling us for assistance to meet these requirements.

How did your firm get started?

I was an internal recruiter for a boutique consulting firm in this industry back in the mid/late ’90s. I started when the firm had around 20 consultants and helped develop the recruiting practices and processes. About a year or so into it, we hired our 100th employee; there was a big celebration and the owner of the company looked at me and basically said, “you’re contributing significantly to our growth and you get bored very easily. What are we going to do to keep you here?” So, I put the business plan for Intellect Resources on his desk with the idea that consulting and recruiting companies have very good synergies together and we operated those companies side by side. At the time, he and I were 50/50 partners on Intellect Resources and when he was selling the consulting side of the business, I was able to carve out and purchase the balance of Intellect Resources. Intellect Resources operated for the first four to five years as a recruiting firm and through the years we’ve been adding on the other services in response to our client needs.

What is in the future for Intellect Resources?

One of our goals is to move overseas; we are finding other countries are going through very, very similar government-initiated implementations in healthcare IT with the same shortage and demand for resources. We are very focused right now on looking at an international strategy.

[SIDEBAR]

Ranking the fastest-growing staffing firms

Intellect Resources ranked No 1 out of 92 staffing firms on this year’s list of Fastest-Growing Staffing Firms by Staffing Industry Analysts. This is the ninth year that this list has been created. The annual list includes staffing firms that posted at least $1 million in revenue in 2008 and have compound annual revenue growth of at least 15 percent excluding acquisitions.

The top 10 fastest-growing U.S. staffing firms had a median compound annual growth rate of 73.8 percent from 2008 through 2012, up from a median compound growth rate of 48.9 percent for last year’s list, which measured growth from 2007 through 2011.

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